But… does that apply to chickens?

Jan 21, 2020 | 0 comments

“Joy of Life” by Ni  Mao 

“There is a fine line between a genius and an idiot…” begins a quote by Ni Mao,  (or sometimes written Mao Ni) who is a Chinese author of xianxia novels.  I am totally unfamiliar with that genre or with author Ni Mao (or Mao Ni, as the case may be) either, but I really like the sentiment.  Especially when it comes to chickens.

Specifically, I’m talking about Snowhite here.  You may remember that she is the chicken who was pecked almost to death by her chick-mate when they were still hatchlings living under a heat lamp in our back forty.  For whatever reason, a somewhat older black chick — a bit bigger but still just a ball of fluff — took an aversion to Snowhite and pecked the top of her head down to the bone.  (Black Bart turned out to be a rooster that had to be re-homed with the help of the Auction Barn.) Dr. Farmer Nyel doctored Snowhite’s bloody skull, fashioned a little protective neosporine-lined helmet for her, and separated her from her nest mates.

She’s always been a bit different; I’m pretty sure she’s brain damaged.  Her eggs aren’t ever quite egg shaped and no matter how much calcium she gets, their shells tend to be fragile.  Too, she’s the one who got mites and is still half naked as a result.  She’s somewhat of an  isolate — not because the others don’t like her, but more because she keeps a fair distance from them most of the time.  (An actual no-brainer if you ask me!)


Lately, she hasn’t been going to roost with everyone else.  She hangs out by the coop door and when I come down to close everyone in for the night, she hops right out to the water trough for a drink of water.  Every night.  It’s weird.    And every night I explain to her that it’s bedtime, not an optimum time for getting drinks of water  (although, come to think of it, I remember when I was four or five, calling to my parents that I wanted a drink of water — which I didn’t. I just wanted to prolong the bedtime routine.)

This morning I thought it might be time to add to the water trough and, in so doing, found that the last time I’d done my water duty, I had neglected to return the safety cap to its resting place after I was finished.  Consequently, no water was getting from the tank to the trough.  Thank goodness it’s been raining.

Snowhite and Slutvana – Temporary Detente

It’s patently obvious that Snowhite has been trying to tell me about the problem for five or six days now.  Why else would she stay up until after roosting time and deliberately go over to the water trough each evening?  Here I’d been thinking “What an idiot!” when all along she’d been trying to show me that there was a disaster pending if the rains stopped.  I apologized profusely.  Who’s the idiot here, anyway?

Oh… and the last part of the quote is “…and that line is possibility.”  In this case, the possibility is that Snowhite is far smarter than I’ve been giving her credit for!  Way to go, Snowhite!


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